Love and Monsters (2020) Movie Review

Love and Monsters – Absolute Blast

 

Director: Michael Matthews

Writer: Brian Duffield, Matthew Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing, Ariana Greenblatt, Ellen Hollman

Plot: Seven years after he survived the monster apocalypse, lovably hapless Joel leaves his cozy underground bunker behind on a quest to reunite with his ex.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Love and Monsters starts seven years after a plan to destroy an asteroid left the nuclear wastage hitting Earth creating monsters on Earth, the humans need to move into colonies underground with Joel (O’Brien) living in one of them. He is the chef and not used to fight against any of the monsters, with the rest of colony being the ones that look out for him.

One day Joel decides he wants to go in search for his girlfriend Aimee (Henwick) who is in another colony, which will see him going into the world alone for the first time, meeting a lonely dog named Boy, Clyde (Rooker) and Minnow (Greenblatt) who have been surviving together in the dangerous world.

Thoughts on Love and Monsters

Characters & Performances – Joel has been living in an underground colony after the world got infected by nuclear fallout turning the animals into giant monsters roaming the Earth. He is seen as the wimpy one of the colony that isn’t prepared for the dangers outside, though he is the only single one. He wants to go in search of his girlfriend, which will see him leave the colony and travel in the world of danger alone for the first time, learning to fight, while also seeing the pain others have been through. Dylan O’Brien is wonderful in the leading role of this film, bringing all the charisma needed for the film to shine. Aimee is the woman that Joel makes the journey for, a former girlfriend before the events happened, she is in a different colony with only radio communication. Clyde and Minnow help Joel in the open world, teach him about the dangers and how to survive, they both have their own story for being together and tough to this world. Michael Rooker brings the experienced head to the cast, where he is always good in a mentor like role. The whole cast does a great job through this film, playing their characters perfectly.

StoryThe story here takes us to a world where everyday animals have been turned into giant monsters, with humans needing to live in colonies under the surface, where one young man decides to go in search of an ex-girlfriend from a different colony, learning about the changed world above for the first time. This is a story that feels like a soft version of a Fallout game, where it doesn’t have the pure violence, but the creatures are enlarged ones we could see in everyday life. The story is told in a way that feels like it is Zombieland, trying to turn the dark world into something cheery, which is also a highlight in the film. The story uses the adventure side of a story is a joy to watch because we get given the real side effects of the world, be it through the dog, Clyde or Minnow.

ThemesLove and Monsters is an action adventure sci-fi film that takes our leading character on a journey against the monsters now crawling the Earth, big creatures that we would see in everyday life, the world created is brilliant and when it comes to the special effects with the creature creations, it is stunning to watch.

 

Love and Monsters is a truly enjoyable adventure movie with a great cast, phenomenal effects and an amazing tone.

Dolittle (2020) Movie Review

Dolittle – Enjoyable Wacky Adventure

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Writer: Stephen Gaghan, Dan Gregor, Doug Mand (Screenplay) Thomas Shepherd (Story)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Jessie Buckley, Harry Collett

Plot: A physician who can talk to animals embarks on an adventure to find a legendary island with a young apprentice and a crew of strange pets.


Tagline – He’s just not a people person.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Dolittle starts as we learn how Dr John Dolittle (Downey Jr) travelled the world saving animals with his wife Lilly, only for her to be lost at sea on her own voyage, turning John into closing himself off to the world with animals. When young boy Tommy Stubbins (Collett) shots a squirrel, he gets guided to the mansion along with a message from Queen Victoria (Buckley) asking for his help.

John Dolittle must go on the same voyage that took his wife to save the Queen of England, which will see him taking on a new enemy, teaching his ways to the Tommy and complete the journey that will give him closure about his wife.

Thoughts on Dolittle

Characters & Performances – Dr John Dolittle has closed himself off from the world after losing his wife at sea, he still cares for the animals in the mansion, trying to help build their strengths, while accepting their weaknesses. He is forced to give up his life of solidarity to save the Queen of England, who gave him the land for the animals. John takes on an apprentice and is joined by his animals in search for a cure, while will see him come face to face with an old enemy and deal with his own demons. Robert Downey Jr does bring this character to life with his eccentric style even if the accent can go missing at times, but he shows the pain his character has been through in life very well through the film. Tommy Stubbins is from a family of hunters, he doesn’t want to kill animals though, which sees him injury one and get guided to Dolittle for help, he joins the journey and ends up learning the kindness that can be shown to animals. Harry Collett add the innocent and excitement to the film, showing us just how important his character is to the connecting to the human side of life. When it comes to the animals, the different species blend together wonderfully, with the voice performances adding new levels to the film, John Cena as Yoshi the polar bear and Kumail Nanjiani as the ostrich show brilliant chemistry with all the best lines in the film. Rami Malek as Chee-Chee the gorilla has the most serious side of all of the animals, showing us how characters will need to overcome fears in life.

StoryThe story here follows Dr John Dolittle as he needs to come out of his reclusive life to save the Queen of England and put the tragedy of his own life behind him. Having only ever seeing the Eddie Murphy version of Dr Dolittle, I didn’t know what I was expecting going into this movie, the story is very different, moving away from the sudden change, focusing on the established man who has always helped animals from around the world, in a different era, the Victorian England world. This does bring a new lease of life to the story, playing into the eras technology as well as showing us how different animals together can achieve more, instead of making them circus animals, like many he has rescued through the years. The journey side of the story is everything we have seen before, but works by keeping things simple, with each step becoming more challenging, but the teamwork helping achieve the goal of the journey. We might well end up having a few too many farts jokes, though this would play in for the younger audience to get a laugh along the way.

ThemesDolittle brings us an adventure that will see the characters travel across the ocean for a mythical item, which could save the queen, it will be filled with peril, which does get the unity of family coming through in how everything unfolds, while also offering us the comedy, which often sees character paired up for each laugh along the way. The film uses the settings well, bringing us from the beautiful mansion where the animals live in peace, to Buckingham Palace, the open water ships and the land of King Rassouli, which could have easily come out of any Game of Thrones set. The costumes used in the film are used to show the characters backgrounds well, with the eccentric ones that Dolittle himself has, to the limited style that Tommy has, coming from a poor family, with Dr Blair Mudfly in all black, showing his darker nature to everything. The animals might well be CGI, but they work very well in the film, making everything feel more connected in the long run during the film, not looking out of place, like many CGI animals in the past.


Best Parts

  • Plimpton & Yoshi’s banter

  • Chee-Chee needing to overcome his fears

  • The Victorian setting.

Weakest Parts

  • Dolittle’s accent, not sure what it was meant to be.

Final Thoughts Dolittle is an enjoyable family film, which can be filled with laughs along the way.